Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills
Reopening of Schools, Cork Life Centre, School Bullying and the Impact on Mental Health: Discussion.
Since the reopening of our schools last year, and again this year, the emphasis has very much been on well-being. I ensured in the budget that 120 guidance posts and 17 additional National Educational Psychological Service, NEPS, posts would be made available. I am pleased to be able to state a well-being platform is being provided whereby all the resources required for schools are on a single platform. We are also considering the national roll-out of continuing professional development, CPD, for schools.
On the Chairman’s point on the Department of Health, there is excellent co-operation between it and my Department. The provision of services in the community is strictly within the remit of the Department of Health. The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Deputy Butler, and I have engaged quite considerably based on her responsibility for mental health and well-being. I am very much working with her to examine opportunities for a cross-departmental approach to supporting ongoing work in the community that it might be possible to mirror within the schools. Significant progress has been made on well-being provision within our schools but we are always open to this cross-departmental approach.